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Guide to Choosing a Business Copier

One of the workplace’s biggest frustrations is an ineffective copier that either can’t keep up with copying requirements and constantly jams or is always needing maintenance performed. To make for a more effective work environment, it’s worth doing your research before buying a business copier. Here are a few points to consider.



9 Points for Buying a Business Copier

1. Outline the Copying Needs

You cannot know what machine is right for your workplace if you don’t know what your basic copying needs are. The first step is to make a list of tasks that the copier will be required to perform. These could include copying, scanning, faxing, printing, folding, stapling, binding and saddle stitching. Decide which of these features are ‘must-have’ and which ones are merely ‘most wanted’.

2. Black and White v Colour

If you’re in the creative field, then it’s more likely you will need a full-colour copier that can scan and email full-colour documents. However, if most of the documents printed will be in greyscale then it’s worth looking at a black and white printer – these are often a lot faster because they don’t need to store as much information as colour printers. 

3. Printing Speeds

The page-per-minute print speed is a big consideration when choosing an office copier. You will know that your current copier is not fast enough if there are major back-ups during peak office hours. Low-speed colour copiers print at about 6 – 20 pages per, this is 10 – 12 for greyscale copiers. High-speed colour copiers print 50 – 60 pages per minute with greyscale at 60 – 80.

4. Memory and Storage Options

The Random Access Memory (RAM) of the modern copier will determine the effectiveness of the machine. For a quicker response time, a machine with 1 – 8GB (gigabytes) of RAM is required and 500 – 1000GB of storage capacity. This will ensure the effective processing of multiple computations to copy complex documents.

5. Size Considerations

You need to know exactly where the copier will be placed in the office before making any big purchases. If it will be placed on a table top then it should weight between 15 and 35kgs, measuring 91cm wide, 91cm deep and up to 70cm high. For those being placed on the floor, they can be substantially larger – up to 180kgs, measuring 120cm long, 90cllm deep and up to 120cm high.

6. Inkjet v Laser Printers

Inkjet printers use cartridges so they might be more cost-effective to maintain, the replacement cartridge costs could be high. Laser printers are more expensive but can print documents faster with minimal quality loss. Both printer types can print in high resolution – 600 to 2 400dpi (dots per inch). Typically large business copier will have laser techology.  

7. Toner and Ink

Try to ascertain exactly how much toner or ink you will need and the costs involved. Replacement costs can be high so it’s worth enquiring about using third-party ink refills to save on costs. If you decide to have a copier rental agreement then a certain amout of toner will be inulded in the contract. 

8. Scanning Requirements

While almost all office copiers now have in-built scanners, they do have differing technologies and functions. Features such as automatic document feeder and duplex scanning are worth checking as these will dramatically effect workflow.

9. Maintenance and Service Agreements

The long-term performance of any machine will be determined by the overall maintenance required which means service agreements must be analysed. This will include covering items such as rollers, cleaning blades and other parts that make a machine fully functional.  Read more on Copier Maintenance and Service Agreements

There are many copier makes and models available suited to a host of industry types, but it’s important to know your requirements before making any purchase. Product reviews and professional guidance will empower you with the knowledge to make the best purchase for your copying needs.


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